This is part-two of a two part blog on B2B sales and marketing trends in 2014. Click here for part one.
The second B2B trend I predict for 2014 is a focus on increased transparency—both internally and externally.
For the past several years, many B2B companies have started experimenting in the new world of digital content marketing, marketing automation, customer relationship management, etc. While most companies that have engaged in these strategies have seen increases in marketing effectiveness and sales revenue, executives often want to see transparent, concrete numbers before increasing budget allocation. Because of this, analytical tools for measurement of all sales and marketing tactics will become increasingly important in order to prove ROI and justify increased digital spend.
In 2014, transparency is also going to be increasingly important for prospects. One reason for this is the increased use of the Internet and web-based technologies, which have made consumers significantly more well-informed. These smarter consumers know a scam when they see one and have been bombarded with enough advertising throughout their lives to know when a company is blowing smoke. When searching for products and services, buyers today want to feel like they are having authentic experiences with truthful companies. To satisfy this desire, you need to be authentically transparent.
One example of the immense power of transparency in business is the recent success of Dominos pizza. Instead of continuing with the same marketing message they had for years, Dominos chose to listen to their customers’ feedback on the poor quality of their product. They admitted publically (through a mass media campaign) that their pizza did not meet their customers’ standards for taste and that they were completely recreating their recipe to make up for it. The result? Doubled profits.
While these will not likely be the only B2B marketing trends in 2014, I believe they are two of the most important. By incorporating co-creation and transparency into your marketing strategy and content, you can foster deeper and more authentic relationships with your prospects while simultaneously increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of everything you do.
If you have any questions about creating your sales and marketing strategy for 2014, feel free to contact us.